Originally published in West Michigan Style Magazine, Winter 2014-2015

When you talk to anyone who’s moved away from Michigan – or anyone who has moved back – about what they missed most about our mitten shaped state, frequently you hear about their love for the four seasons. Not the Frankie Valli kind, but the summers on the Great Lakes, falls full of color, winter wonderlands, fresh spring rains kind. A love that embraces the beauty of nature that cannot be matched by any other state.

However, the season we find ourselves in the midst of right now often calls that love for the four seasons directly into question – winter has us wondering when our day will come; beggin’ to say, “bye, bye, baby,” and get up out of here. Well… you work hard, you give the proverbial 110%, and you deserve to slip away – do it in style.


Many people have discovered the luxury and convenience of flying private – and this option isn’t just for those who have a wing at the hospital or university named after them, this is an option for a frequent flyer family looking to expedite the process, or the group of friends with a desire to create a memory out of the entire travel experience not just the destination. When you charter a plane, you get the whole plane – every seat – so get a handful of friends together (there’s, generally, between 6 and 8 seats) and start to plan a get-away.

If your travel has some flexibility, most charter plane management companies offer an email list you can join so you may be notified of last minute flight opportunities and empty flight legs that are available to charter. One of the most memorable parts of my first private flight wasn’t the flight, it was after the landing: When we arrived back to Grand Rapids, my car was parked on the tarmac freshly washed, gassed up, and running ready for me to jump in and go. They take the whole experience into consideration.


If you’re more of a solo traveler setting out to explore the lonesome road, or a couple escaping Michigan for a date-cation, a charter plane may not be the right fit for you. To treat yourself to something a little extra, once you get to your destination, splurge on a higher-end rental car. In most “destination cities” you can find rental car companies that specialize in luxury automobiles, anything from Mercedes to Bentley to Ferrari. Opening up my Porsche convertible on PCH from Malibu to Santa Monica, feeling the wind in my hair and the salty breezes on my face, is a feeling that cannot be duplicated in a standard rental vehicle. Not to mention, working my way back from San Diego to LA was exponentially more enjoyable in a car expressly engineered to be driven.

Whether you are staying close to home, or orchestrating an escape to a warmer climate this winter, focus some of your time, energy, and budget on you. Walk on, don’t look back – treat yourself and splurge, even if just a little. The memories you make will warm your soul and help get you through the remaining months until the next of our favorite four seasons!


STAYCATION BONUS: Style, With A Little Help From My Friends

Here are some additional style suggestions for you “staycation” focused folk

  • A Catalonian Adventure in a Glass.
    I called Amy Ruis, from Aperitivo, at Downtown Market. Amy is my go-to source for wine, and suggests Sangenís i Vaqué ‘Dara’ from Priorat, Spain – a delightfully full fruit, dry and slightly spicy bottle of Grenache, Syrah. This bottle will transport you one of the highest quality wine producing regions of Spain – without so much as a passport.
  • Sole Searching.
    For those putting one foot in front of the other, not jet setting, I chatted with Tyler Way from Wolverine World Wide. Tyler admits to some bias in his men’s boot recommendation, “My favorite rugged casual boot is one that I designed for the Sebago Fall ’14 line*, the Hyde Hiker Boot. It has a leather upper that wears-in beautifully to give it great character over time.” For the ladies, Tyler recommends the timeless Nashoba Rider, its mix of cognac and black leathers makes it perfect for any outfit. With their luxurious leathers and superior craftsmanship, both of these bring fashion and function to your winter footwear collection.

    *Editor’s Note: in 2017 Wolverine World Wide sold the Sebago brand to Italy’s BasicNet SpA.
  • Minor Home Improvements.
    If your winter plan includes hanging out at home, my friend, Chip Minor of Rebel Reclaimed, suggests a framed “MI Home” or “MI Love” custom print to dial-up your home décor just a notch, while also proclaiming your love of all things Mitten. Additionally, framed or unframed, these make great gifts! 


    Winter Park Photo by pragmart on Unsplash
    Home in Winter Photo by Pixabay on Pexels